Island nation ignores its greatest national resource to instead focus on big rock coins
4,300 miles west of Hawaii, there is a tiny island nation called Yap (just 46 square miles). Most people know it for its funky monetary system called Rai based on giant stones (some up to 12 feet in diameter and weigh a ton). Sure, that’s pretty interesting for some people, but to Independent Sources there is something far more alluring about Yap. Namely, the way that they celebrate holidays on those islands.
Several times a year, it is required that all women go topless for the day. Yep, topless. Now of course there are some folks we’d just rather not see in that way. However, this downside is more than offset by getting a peekie at those that you are dying to see.
In the spirit of cultural inclusion and sensitivity, I think this is one custom that should be assimilated into U.S. culture. After all, they were at one point a U.S. trustee and we still do pay them $93m or so a year in aid. We could re-characterize those payments as a license fee to use their holidays in this country. Seems like a win-win.
Now as much as I like a topless society, there are a few problems in Yap that need to be dealt with so they don’t give obligatory nationwide toplessness a bad name. First, Yap has a rigid caste system where some residents are born into virtual slavery. No excuse for that folks. Caste system must go.
Second, Yap men have a pretty good thing going but this Hooters-culture has gone to their heads over the past several hundred years. Domestic violence against women is high and it is estimated that 60% of people admitted at least one hospital were victims of domestic abuse. It goes without saying that this this unacceptable. All of the folks who want to pine about all of the cultures of the world that were so beautiful before we in the west screwed them up should try sitting down with a battered Yapese woman. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the continual tribal warfare that existed before western man had even found the islands. I’m for tying our foreign aid to them fixing the abuse problem–no reason we should be underwriting domestic violence even if it is part of someone’s noble “culture.”
Now back to the toplessness. On the outer islands of Yap, Western clothing is banned and men and women are required to go shirtless at all times. This isn’t as good as one might think for several reasons. First, familiarity breeds contempt. Second, full-time toplessness risks the “National Geographic”effect and I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. Better to do it the way that they do it on the big island of Yap, only on holidays are women bearing all. It makes it special and a better experience all around.
And if Yapese women don’t want to remove their tops on holidays for all to see? Well here’s what the Yap governor has to say:
“If they don’t want to be topless, they can live in Guam.”
A governor with some balls. As a side note, I can picture California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger saying something like this but certainly not his political opponent Phil Angelides (as this would require Angelides to actually have a point of view). [/side note].
One thing about the Yapese, however, is that they are terrible marketers. They basically have a nationwide version of spring break and yet hardly anyone outside of Yap knows about it. They don’t play it up in the least in any of their tourism materials. In fact, their country’s slogan is “The Land of Stone Money.” Zippity Friggin’ Doo Dah, that’s really gonna pack them in. How about “What happens in Yap, stays in Yap!” or if they need to be more direct “Yap, land of the visible boobs”?
Well, Yap has a lot of potential, I hope we can help them exploit it.
Story source: LA Times:
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